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Pro-Ject Debut Carbon + (which phono preamp) + Audioengine A5

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I recently came across a screaming deal on a used Pro-Ject Debut Carbon to go with my A5 speakers which I've had for a bit.  Previously I was using a crappy TT with a built in preamp so I'm in the market/need for a phono preamp for my new TT.  I've read the "beginners guide" and I've been thinking about getting the Bellari VP130.  Part of the reason I like the Bellari is for the headphone amp.  Just wanted to get the opinion of the collective before I purchase something.    Will also likely be purchasing some Blue Jeans RCA cables.




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I cant go into as much detail as other can, but tubes are often very pleasing to the ear.  I like a tube preamp because to my ears, it colors the sound in a way that warms it up and it makes the sound just sound fuller. With that being said, I have heard the Belari and it is a decent preamp, but it is not a true tube preamp. Its more like a hybrid. 

What I have is a preamp that I built myself that's based on a much more expensive preamp called EAR 834p. If you are good with your hands and soldering, its a very fun project, but time consuming.  I'm extremely happy with the sound, and will probably never upgrade and built it for a little less than $300 total. 

You can find Chinese knock offs of the EAR 834p on Amazon or eBay moderately priced. I had a Little Bear T10 and really enjyed it, finding it to be the best bang for the buck in the sub $200 range. They now have a T11 thats in a metal case and looks a lot nicer. These two amps, while sounding very good for the money, do come shipped with cheap chinese tubes, and it is recommended that they be replaced with either Russian 6N2P tubes, or american 12AX7 tubes. Plenty of info is available on other forums about these two.





If you wanted something less expensive, there is also the Little Bear T7 preamp that is closer to the Belari.





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